Polychromasia

The pallor of your skin—
speckled eggshell, loose baby teeth,
as white as the lies you’d leave on my lips.
Soaked in moonlight, you appeared to me
an unreal specter though I bathed delicately
in your heat, night after night. A strange thing
it is, to be desperate and drowning in the ivory
of someone else’s desire. I wanted to paint you
with my color, to douse the sharp contours
of your skeleton with scandalous pigment,
to make you a canvas for my fire.
And so I clothed you in fingerprints
with the intention of staining you gold
until I found myself standing alone,
palms still dripping with bleach.

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